What Is My Life Insurance Health Class Rating?

Your health class rating for life insurance plays an important role in determining your premium.  When you get a quote for life insurance, it makes sense to know your health class rating so you can do an “apples to apples” comparison of rates.  Underwriting guidelines differ with each company but the table below will give you a general idea of your health rating for quoting purposes.

Standard Health Ratings – Insurance companies use the following standards classes for non-smoker and smoker health class ratings from highest to lowest.

Preferred Plus Non-Smoker 

Preferred Non-Smoker 

Standard Plus Non-Smoker

Standard Non-Smoker

Preferred Smoker

Standard Smoker

Only a small percentage of applicants will qualify for ‘Preferred Plus Non-Smoker’ rating.  You must be in optimal health to qualify for this rating.  As you move down the list, the underwriting guidelines for each health class get more lenient.  Some tobacco users can qualify for ‘Preferred Smoker’ rates if they use tobacco but are otherwise in very good health.  Although each company has its own guidelines, the underwriting table and build chart below show more specific criteria for each health class.  This will give you a good idea of where you will stand with your health rating.

Health Class

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What if You are Classified Below Standard?

Standard is the benchmark in terms of “normal” life expectancy. Anything rating below ‘Standard’ will be considered substandard or ‘Table Rated’.  If you have any current moderate to major impairments or have had health issues in the past, you could be ‘Table Rated’.  Issues such as being severely overweight, moderate to severe COPD, cancers, diabetes, heart attack/bypass or severe sleep apnea will most likely result in a ‘Table Rating’.  The ratings will usually go from table 1-10 depending on the company.  Each additional table increase is usually by 25% over standard risk class as follows:

Table 1 Rating: Standard + 25%

Table 2 Rating: Standard +50%

Table 3 Rating: Standard +75%

Table 4 Rating: Standard +100%

Table 5 Rating: Standard +125%

Table 6 Rating: Standard +150%

Table 7 Rating: Standard +175%

Table 8 Rating: Standard +200%

Table 9 Rating: Standard +225%

Table 10 Rating: Standard +250%

The severity of any health impairments will ultimately determine your final table rating.  The key to getting the best rating is to find the insurance company that will most favorably underwrite your particular risk.  Some companies serve a particular niche better than others when it comes to underwriting moderate to serious health impairments such as diabetes or cancer.

Table Shave Programs – Some companies will offer credits that will improve your health rating if you have a moderate to major health impairment but exhibit other healthy attributes.  Some companies are willing to credit 3 tables.  That means you could go from a ‘Table 3’ rating all the way up to ‘Standard’!  This could mean huge savings on your coverage.   We know which companies provide the most generous “table shave” programs.

What are Flat-Extras– Flat-extras might be added to your premium if you engage in a high risk occupation or job or if you are remission from disease.  This is simply an extra mount of premium per $1,000 of coverage.  For example, let’s say you purchase a $500,000 term policy and the insurance company adds a $2.00 flat-extra because you engage in a dangerous hobby.  In addition to the base premium of the policy, you would also have to pay an additional $1,000 per year in flat-extra premium ($2.00 x 500).  Flat-extras can be temporary in the case of disease remission or you can ask that they be removed if you stop participating in any high risk hobbies or jobs.

Getting the Best Health Rating is Essential

We can help you determine your health rating.  We know exactly what to ask so that you have realistic expectations of your health rating BEFORE you even fill out an application.  Give us a call at 877-205-4172 or you can email us at info@termlifeanswers.com for a free no obligation consultation.

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